440 Between Scylla and Charybdis!
Amidst the ensuing chaos, Victor’s window of opportunity finally came to an end. The delta started finally lost her balance and started to tumble.
If it wasn’t for being in his werewolf form, a wide grin would have formed on the rogue’s face. Now the girl was going to wake up and alert the lions of another presence they needed to worry about.
Perhaps the lions had stopped paying attention to her because she hadn’t been conscious.
The creatures hadn’t been paying attention to the sleeping girl, but maybe they would pay attention if she was still unconscious. The retreating rogue started to see hope in getting slaughtered along with the royal’s bodyguard.
Crysta caught herself just in time like she’d been doing, embarrassment washing over her. She’d been doing the worst job of keeping watch ever in history. It seemed she was making a habit of disappointing her alpha. While her intentions were pure, her results were less than admirable. ‘I’ll have to apologize to Lina when I wake her up. Speaking of Lina…’
Her thoughts were cut short at the sight of a furry beast in front of her. A feline tail swished slowly swivelled in front of her face. The delta was going to scream but caught herself when a snarl to her right forced her attention.
Crysta looked around and found that she was completely surrounded by the one creature they had dreaded the most since they started their journey through the mountains, ‘I hate it when Wyatt is right.’
She wanted to wake Lina up through the mind link, but looking around, the lions were far too many to take down. Maybe Lina had some trick up her sleeve that could help them even the odds. Maybe…
Her fear was soon replaced by curiosity when the mountain lion that had forced her silence turned away from her and paid attention to something else. Crysta could almost swear the lion was trying to divert her attention to something else.
The delta followed the lion’s eyes and found that all the lions were paying attention to one thing… or three, to be more exact. Three wolves with amber eyes stood baring their teeth at the lions and snarling.
Crysta was about to ask what they were doing when she noticed the consistent dirty grey fur on two of them. The signature coat that every rogue got once they joined the rogue king.
The one in the middle of the other two was only slightly turning grey. He could only be someone new to the rogues.
On rare occasions, a normal wolf would join the rogues and their pelt would undertake a slow transformation until they bore the same colour as the rest of the rogues… A sign of losing the moon goddess’s favour. The delta’s eyes flashed green in anger… ‘A traitor.’
Shocked by her own disregard for the numerous lions that surrounded her, she turned on the rogues and bared her elongated canines at them in a threatening attempt at a half shift. A guttural growl finally mixed into the ranks of mountain lions.
She couldn’t quite get the half shift done like Katie but she could at least disfigure her appearance and appear threatening by baring her elongated canines.
The lions roared in response to her own growl significantly increasing their animosity towards the rogues. The lions clawed the ground in challenge, as though waiting for an order.
Clearly outnumbered by a pack of normally solitary mountain lions stalking them, the rogues turned tails and ran uphill.
Lina left the shelter of her tent just in time to see the tail of the last rogue disappear around a bend. The mountain lions paid the girl no heed and ran after the rogues in a frenzy of growls that would chill anyone they pursued to the core.
Victor couldn’t tell how long he’d been running uphill. His sense of fear didn’t allow him to stop running. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him and so did the wolves that were with him.
They ran through the night, listening to the roars of mountain lions in the distance. Knowing the lions ruled the entire mountains kept them running through the night. The rogues ran so hard that they didn’t notice when they hit the icy cold of the mountain’s top.
Victor was almost shocked when they started going downhill, the icy top of the mountain long forgotten. He’d barely felt the cold while he ran. His fear of meeting his death kept him going, along with the fact that he couldn’t explain what he’d just seen with his own two eyes. The girl had stood amongst the lions without a care for her life.
The delta had stood with the creatures of the wild… solitary creatures and she had threatened to attack him with all of them as a whole. It was a terrifying sight that wasn’t going to leave his mind for a while.
It didn’t make sense to him at all that the lions ignored the campers completely. It was almost as though the animals were being controlled by the delta, but he couldn’t believe this either. Not after the scared expression she’d shown when she woke up.
Had she been surprised they were there or had they simply disobeyed her orders by coming down from their perches? Nothing seemed to be adding up. They weren’t supposed to be working together in the first place… To protect one group of carnivores from another.
This was a violation of nature’s laws.
His mind churned with different theories as to what he had just witnessed, but he wasn’t certain of any of them. He’d heard of people that could speak to animals but that girl didn’t seem like it either… or did she? Nothing made sense to him at all.
When he searched his mind, he realised the mountain lions had been stalking this camp for a while. It made no sense for them to simply watch over the camp, no less group together to do it. Something wasn’t adding up.
When Victor finally ran out of breath and his adrenaline faded, he, along with the two rogues he was with, had made it to the bottom of the mountain and were panting wildly under the cover of the trees.
He was no longer capable of thinking. His mind was muddled by the pain from his screaming muscles. It was only now that he was feeling the effects of running through the snow at the top of the mountain.
Panting heavily, a paw nudged the rogue’s side. ‘I’m tired, for crying out loud. What now?’
This time he heeded the warning and turned to his comrade. The wolf tapping him had gone pale if wolves were even capable of doing that. Fear was written within its eyes which were glued to something ahead of them. It was like before… ‘If it turns out to be one more lion, I’m going to…’ his thoughts froze. Suddenly a pack of lions wasn’t so bad.
Victor had turned to face their newfound danger and found himself paling as well at the sight before him.
Through the trees right before them, he noticed a large mass of fur. At first, he couldn’t make out what it was in detail, but he didn’t need to get any details to know he was supposed to be scared.
The rough estimate of the size of this creature alone was enough to make him take a step back. His first thought was, ‘A bear?’
Although Bears didn’t possess black and white fur. Something was wrong with this one. Taking a step closer, the rogue froze as the creature turned and continued its rhythmic breathing that told them it was sleeping.
Victor relaxed when he realised it was asleep and let out a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding. He soon came to curse this decision. For it was the slightly loud sound of him breathing out that stirred the massive creature before them.
From one side of the large black-and-white mass, a massive white head turned in their direction, allowing Victor to finally see what it actually was. Against his better judgement, the creature that now stared at them was clearly… a wolf.
‘Not even beta alphas and royals shift to that size…’ his thoughts were cut off when the wolf furrowed its brows and rose to its feet. Its eyes were still closed but somehow that didn’t matter. Simply hearing his next-to-silent breath was enough to tell him that this creature didn’t need sight to know where they were.
The wolf’s senses were sharp enough to wake it up from a deep slumber just by hearing the sound of his breath. He needed to see its eyes for another reason entirely. ‘Why does it look familiar… why do I feel like he’d seen this wolf somewhere before? I would remember if I saw a towering giant of a werewolf somewhere…’ Victor’s thoughts continued to string.
Towering over them with a size that was clearly twice that of the largest bear was a black and white wolf with a maw large enough to snap him in two with one bite.
As soon as Victor had taken the first timid step back, the wolf opened its bright blue eyes.